82 episodes

Exploring Environmental History is the podcast about human societies and the environment in the past.

Exploring Environmental History Jan Oosthoek

    • History

Exploring Environmental History is the podcast about human societies and the environment in the past.

    Resources exploitation and nature protection in the border lands of Qing China

    Resources exploitation and nature protection in the border lands of Qing China

    Much research has been devoted to the impact of the expanding European empires and settler colonies in the 18thand 19thcenturies and their impacts on nature and resources. Not much attention has been paid to a similar story unfolding at the same time in Qing China: the increasing expansion of the exploitation of natural resources such as fur, mushrooms, pearls and timber in China’s expanding imperial frontiers. China’s demand for these products was so pronounced, that by the first decades of the 19thcentury many of these resources were commercially exhausted and many of the animals that provided these products were on the brink of local extinction. In response the Qing rulers created protected areas and limited harvests in response to these environmental impacts.
    Jonathan Schlesinger, a scholar of imperial China at Indiana University in Bloomington, studied Manchu and Mongolian archives to track the trade in furs, pearls and mushrooms across the Qing empire’s borderlands in the 18th and 19th centuries. On this episode of the Exploring Environmental History Podcast Schlesinger discusses how Qing rulers responded to declining resources and negative environmental impacts. In addition he considers if it is possible to compare “western” environmental history with Chinese environmental history or whether we need to think outside a Western paradigm.
     
    Music credits
    "From China To USA" by  Stefan Kartenberg
    "Old performer in new time" by  Subhashish Panigrahi
     Both tracks available from ccMixter

    • 25 min
    Incendiary politics: histories of Indigenous Burning and Environmental Debates in Australia and the United States

    Incendiary politics: histories of Indigenous Burning and Environmental Debates in Australia and the United States

    The 2018 wildfires around the globe have been dramatic, prompting headlines about the world being on fire. The 2018 fire season is unusual in that so many places are experiencing major fires at the same time. California and some areas in Australia were hard hit, but these places are used to wildfires.
    The political aftermath of catastrophic firestorms in both Australia and the United States has involved commissions or parliamentary inquiries, with terms of reference that include investigation into assessing or improving fire management policies. Part of these policies is the use of prescribed burning for fuel reduction, which has a long history in Australia but less so in the United States. Prescribed burning for fuel reduction has been heavily influenced by perceived or real understandings of Indigenous burning practices.
    Daniel May is a PhD student at the Australian National University and on this episode of the podcast he explores the political and cultural influences of the historical debates surrounding understandings of Indigenous fire-use in Australia and the US. His aim is to expose the rhetorical strategies and political fault lines of the interest groups, past and present, attempting to influence policy making.
    Music credits
    "4 Guitarreros" by  Doxent Zsigmond
    "Didgeridoo And Annabloom Too" by Speck
    "Speculation Alley" by  Martijn de Boer (NiGiD)
    All available from ccMixter

    • 28 min
    The timber frontier of Northern Sweden: a history of ecological and social transformation

    The timber frontier of Northern Sweden: a history of ecological and social transformation

    Sweden is one of the largest timber exporters in Europe. The country has been an exporter since at least the early modern period. That is not surprising because pine and spruce forests cover large parts of northern Sweden. These forests are part of the single largest land biome on earth, stretching along the pole circle of Eurasia and North America: the taiga
    Not that long ago, the forests of northern Sweden were almost untouched by human hands. That changed during the 19thcentury when a timber frontier moved across northern Sweden, driven by the demand for wood in the industrialising countries of Europe. The timber frontier forged changes across the forests of northern Sweden, not in the least the construction of tens of thousands of kilometres of floatways. This transformed not only the ecological structure of the forests, but also the social and economic dynamics of Sweden and shaped the modern country that we see today.
    Erik Törnlund is a forest historian who studied the transformation of the forests in northern Sweden and the development of the floatway system. On this episode of the podcast Erik examines the Swedish timber frontier and the associated environmental, economic and social transformations that have occurred in Sweden since the 19thcentury.

    • 27 min
    Forestry in northern Europe: National Histories, Shared Legacies

    Forestry in northern Europe: National Histories, Shared Legacies

    This edition of the Exploring Environmental History Podcast examines the patterns in the development of European Forestry and attempts to answer the question if there is a European Forestry tradition. This episode is hosted by Jan Oosthoek and Richard Hölzl, the co-editors of a recent volume published by Berhahn Books entitled Managing Northern Europe’s Forests.

    • 36 min
    Kangaroos and tanks: histories of militarised landscapes in Australia

    Kangaroos and tanks: histories of militarised landscapes in Australia

    Podcast episode exploring histories of militarized landscapes in Australia, and the evolution of Australian Defence Force environmental policies in the twentieth century with historian Ben Wilkie.

    • 24 min
    The Watery ally: military inundations in Dutch history

    The Watery ally: military inundations in Dutch history

    For centuries, the Dutch have fought against their arch-enemy: water. But, during the Dutch War of Independence in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch found an ally in their arch enemy. Their struggle against Spain seemed almost hopeless because the rebels were facing the best trained, supplied and funded European army of that era. As the underdog, they turned to water and used it as a weapon against the Spanish by planning and carrying out a number military inundations, intentionally flooding enormous swaths of land to stop or even defeat the enemy.
    However, it is possible that during the Dutch Wars of Independence the province of Holland could have been permanently flooded and lost to the North Sea. The Spanish, hurt by the military inundations, hatched a secret plan that aimed at defeating the Dutch by turning their watery ally against them. Luckily, this plan was never carried out. While Holland survived, the Dutch constructed a line of fortifications and waterworks to facilitate military inundations, which became known as the Dutch Water Line. This militarization of the Dutch landscape had profound long term political, social and environmental consequences for the province and the region.
    Episode 77 of the Exploring Environmental History podcast explores these social, political and environmental issues with Robert Tiegs, Adjunct Professor at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada.
    Music credits
    "Fear and Hope" by reusenoise
    "Our Lives" by @nop
    "Death of a Music Box" by Hans Atom
    All tracks available from ccMixter

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

jashenmiller ,

required listening

Environmental history has truly gone global in recent years. If you can't make it to all those international conferences, Jan goes there for you.

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